An interview with deep house DJ Kerri Chandler

This weekend’s inaugural AIM Festival will unite Montreal’s electronic music lovers for a three-day party. We spoke to one of the DJs providing the soundtrack.

Kerri Chandler
Kerri Chandler
The AIM festival is coming to Montreal this weekend, bringing a program that’s sure to make electronic music enthusiasts happy. Held in the historic Carillon Park in St-Andre-d’Argenteuil, the three-days event will be running from 3pm to midnight on Friday and then non-stop from 10 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday. I hope you get some rest this week because there will be very little of that during this event.

However, if staying up for 36 hours isn’t an option for you, a camping site is available as well as shuttle buses from Montreal. Artists like Four Tet, Jamie XX, Martinez Brothers, Kevin Saunderson, Auntie Flo, Pachanga Boys will be sharing the spot light with local favorites like Mightykat, Shaydakiss, Von party and many more.

I got the chance to interview New Jersey deep house legend Kerri Chandler, who will be performing on Saturday afternoon on the Moog Audio Stage.

Heidy Pinet: A couple months ago, you played an extended set at Output in New York. How do you prepare for those long hours of mixing?
Kerri Chandler: Playing New York is coming back home. It was a great night. The time flew by —seeing friends and family — I could have played even longer!

HP: How do you feel about the way New York nightclubs have developed?
KC: It’s pretty much like anywhere else. Lots of clubs open, lots of clubs close. It’s really all about the people and them keeping the scene going strong.

HP: What do you think of the whole ’90s deep house revival?
KC: I’m glad that there’s a new generation that’s become aware of what we were doing, but I’ve always loved the tone and feel of deep house. As long as it moves in a positive direction I’m very happy about it.

HP: Besides Madhouse, what record labels are you following these days?
KC: I really don’t follow the labels, I follow the music. Half of the stuff I play are things people make out of their bedroom studios. I just like good music.

HP: What is the piece of gear you couldn’t live without?
KC: That’s my Roland TR-909.

HP: What would you consider to be the happiest moment of your career?
KC: Playing in front of people who love music is a highlight for me every weekend. When I see everyone so excited and really enjoying themselves — that makes me happy. I’m always looking forward to the next event.

HP: How do you feel about playing festivals? Do you think we reached a saturation point?
KC: I like playing outdoors when I can. It’s a very different feeling. It’s good to see all of the people that come out to the festivals. There are so many types of music and the atmosphere is all about being together and having fun. Glastonbury is definitely one I won’t forget!

HP: What is your favourite place to DJ and why?
KC: Any place that there are happy people.

HP: What should people expect from your performance at AIM?
KC: The unexpected! ■
For details about the AIM Festival, see their website, here.